House passes bill changing school finance

After a few delays this morning, the Kansas House passed a bill that will change the school finance method.

The vote was 64-57. The bill now goes to the Senate for approval.

Wyandotte County Democrats opposed bill, which changes the per pupil spending method to a block grant funding method. On local Democratic legislator said it would probably result in less funds for local public schools, and that it was a way for backers of the bill to skirt court decisions on school finance.

House Democratic Leader Tom Burroughs, D-33rd Dist., released this statement:

“Today the House voted on a bill that exacerbates inequalities amongst school districts and inadequately funds our public education system.

“The tactics deployed this week are proof that the Governor and his legislative allies will go to any lengths necessary to achieve their political agenda and protect their failed economic experiment– even if it significantly harms our children’s futures.

“It is time for the Legislature to make fair and adequate funding a priority. Our children, the future of Kansas, deserve better.”

For an earlier story, see wyandottedaily.com/wyandotte-county-democrats-opposing-school-funding-grant-bill/.

No change after Barnes’ vote recount; Bynum, Gilstrap advance to general election

Election Commissioner Bruce Newby today announced that there was no change in the voter recount. The Board of Canvassers approved the recount total at its meeting today. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Election Commissioner Bruce Newby today announced that there was no change in the vote recount. The Board of Canvassers approved the recount total at its meeting today. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

One vote separates second and third place in primary results

by Mary Rupert
After a recount of votes Wednesday resulted in the same outcome, the primary election results were certified this morning. Nathan Barnes was still one vote shy of going on to the general election.

Wyandotte County Election Commissioner Bruce Newby said the recount showed the same results as after the initial voter canvass Monday morning. The recount totals were Melissa Bynum, 1,129; Mark Gilstrap, 1,105; and Nathan Barnes, 1,104; for Unified Government Commissioner, 1st District, at large.

Melissa Bynum, who led in the vote totals by 24 votes, said it would be important to get out to vote in the general election.

“A low voter turnout is going to be indicative of a close race,” Bynum said. “I would love to have a huge voter turnout.

“It’s important for people to understand if this process we’ve been through this week doesn’t highlight the importance of your vote, then you can’t learn that lesson,” Bynum said. It illustrates the importance of a vote as dramatically as anything she’s ever seen, she added.

Mark Gilstrap, who made it to the general election with only one vote to spare, said, “We’re very excited about the end results that we will be moving on to the general election.”

“I tried to impress on my friends before the primary to get out and vote, that every single vote counts. And this is the proof that every vote counts,” Gilstrap said.

If the general election is anything like the primary, it should be a fair and decent process, he said.

Barnes did not attend today’s Board of Canvassers meeting at the Election Office, 850 State Ave. Newby said that he had called Barnes on Thursday to inform him of the vote recount total.

Newby said the votes were counted by hand by precinct for the Unified Government Commissioner, 1st District at large race. A supervising election judge and 12 workers were convened for the recount on Wednesday, March 11, he said.

Two-person teams sorted the ballots cast by precinct, followed by sorting precinct ballots by candidate, and then hand-counted all the ballots, according to the election commissioner. Each sort and count was verified at least twice, Newby said.

Barnes was required to pay a bond in order to do the recount.

Newby said that ballots are scheduled to go out next Wednesday, and he hasn’t been able to print them yet.

For earlier stories, see http://wyandottedaily.com/one-vote-shy-of-advancing-barnes-says-hell-ask-for-vote-recount/

http://wyandottedaily.com/barnes-asks-for-election-recount/

Melissa Bynum, who was first in the primary election results for Unified Government commissioner, 1st District at large,, said today that the close contest illustrates the importance of a vote as dramatically as anything she’s ever seen. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Melissa Bynum, who was first in the primary election results for Unified Government commissioner, 1st District at large,, said today that the close contest illustrates the importance of a vote as dramatically as anything she’s ever seen. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Mark Gilstrap, who made it to the general election with only one vote to spare, today said, "This is the proof that every vote counts." (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)
Mark Gilstrap, who made it to the general election with only one vote to spare, today said, “This is the proof that every vote counts.” (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Slight chance of rain today

There is a slight chance of rain between noon and 1 p.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Today’s high will be near 71, and the chance of rain is 20 percent, the weather service said.

Tonight, the low will be around 42, the weather service said.

Saturday, expect mostly sunny skies with a high near 64. Saturday night, it will be mostly clear, with a low around 38.

Sunday, the high will be near 71.